Tags: 2000-year-old | butter | buried | irish | bog

2,000-Year-Old Butter Buried in Irish Bog Now a Museum Piece

Image: 2,000-Year-Old Butter Buried in Irish Bog Now a Museum Piece
(Cavan County Museum)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Jun 2016 05:20 AM

A 2,000-year-old lump of butter was found buried in a bog in County Meath in Ireland. 

The butter found by turf cutter Jack Conway at Emlagh bog earlier this month weighed about 22 pounds and had a smell of strong cheese, said the Belfast Telegraph. Conway turned the butter over to a museum.

The Telegraph noted that butter was often buried in bogs to preserve it, and some  researchers believe butter was sometimes buried as an offering to gods or spirits.

The National Museum of Ireland's Andy Halpin, assistant keeper of its antiquities division, told the Press Association that the butter was found in an area where 11 townlands and the boundaries of three ancient baronies came together, making the discovery significant.

"These bogs in those times were inaccessible, mysterious places," Halpin said. "It is at the juncture of three separate kingdoms, and politically it was like a no-man's-land – that is where it all hangs together."

Savina Donohoe, curator of Cavan County Museum, said the bog butter discovery was "unique." Donohue told UTV Ireland that butter was a "rich commodity" thousands of years ago.

"It did smell like butter, after I had held it in my hands, my hands really did smell of butter," Donohue told UTV. "There was even a smell of butter in the room it was in."

The Telegraph said the butter will be carbon dated.

"Theoretically the stuff is still edible but we wouldn't say it's advisable," Halpin said.

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A 2,000-year-old lump of butter was found buried in a bog in County Meath in Ireland.
2000-year-old, butter, buried, irish, bog
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2016-20-15
Wednesday, 15 Jun 2016 05:20 AM
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